Ticks and Lyme disease

Heathland flora in the New Forest, Hampshire

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures found in woodland and heath areas.

They feed on the blood of birds and mammals, including humans. Ticks that carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease are found throughout the UK.

We take all risks at the places we care for seriously, including Lyme disease. Each of our places assesses the risks which are present. The staff members at our places develop bespoke approaches to managing those risks for staff, volunteers and visitors.

Our staff members have access to internal information on Lyme disease which includes guidance from NHS Choices and Public Health England on the prevention and diagnosis of Lyme disease and tick removal. Information and guidance for visitors about Lyme disease is available at the places we care for, where we’ve identified a material risk.

For more information on Lyme Disease, visit NHS Choices and Public Health England websites.

We’d always encourage anyone who has been bitten by a tick after visiting one of our places and/or had a diagnosis of Lyme disease to contact the place they visited directly. This will enable us to look into the situation further. Since 2010 we have received four reports of Lyme disease or tick bites, two of which were from visitors.